May 18, 2016 | By Alec

Just yesterday, printing giant HP created a lot of buzz in the 3D printing world by unveiling their first ever 3D printing system: the HP Jet Fusion 3D Printer. Supposedly up to ten times faster than competing machines and capable of cutting down production costs by up to 50 percent, it could have the power to change industrial 3D printing as we know it. Following up on that remarkable announcement, Nike has now revealed that they will be using the Jet Fusion 3D printer to realize 3D printed footwear prototypes at greater speeds than ever before.

Footwear specialist Nike obviously isn’t a stranger to 3D printing. Back in 2015, they patented their very own 3D printed shoe technology, and have used the technology for a number of interesting applications already. Just two months ago, they used 3D printing to prototype custom footwear for Rio-bound Olympian Allyson Felix.

But the Jet Fusion 3D printer is expected to give a huge boost to Nike’s footwear development efforts. This new 3D printer will be available in two models – the HP Jet Fusion 3D 3200 Printer and HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 Printer – both with very large build platforms and amazing resolution levels. Unlike many 3D printers, HP’s highly anticipated Jet Fusion models have been specifically designed to produce end-use parts of the highest quality. To achieve this aim, the 3D printer will print parts at the individual voxel level (50 microns), just as its 2D printer cousins print on paper in 2D pixels.

Indeed, the revolutionary capacity of the Jet Fusion 3D printer can be traced to the voxel level, where transforming properties will enable users to experience a high level of design control and countless combinations of colors, materials, and applications. “Our 3D printing platform is unique in its ability to address over 340 million voxels per second, versus one point at a time, giving our prototyping and manufacturing partners radically faster build speeds, functional parts and breakthrough economics,” Stephen Nigro, president of HP’s 3D printing business, said at the release.

The Jet Fusion 3D printer is, in short, a tantalizing option for any user, but Nike was fortunate enough to be among an exclusive group of early adopters who will also provide extensive user feedback. And as Nike just revealed, they are planning to use HP’s revolutionary hardware for a variety of footwear applications. Though Nike refused to disclose exactly what products will benefit from this new 3D printing technology, rumors have surfaced that they will likely be using it for custom, on-demand items and prototypes.

Nike’s previous history of experimenting with 3D printing also points in that direction. They have previously extensively used Selective Laser Sintering techniques to 3D print and optimize prototypes for various track spikes and football cleats. They have also used the technology to prototype a cooling hood for decathlete Ashton Eaton (visible above) and a remarkable duffle bag (visible below).

The president of Nike Innovation, Tom Clarke, at least hinted that more of those kinds of new prototypes and explorative projects can be expected. “At Nike we innovate for the world’s best athletes. We’ve been using 3D printing to create new performance innovations for footwear for the past several years. Now we are excited to partner with HP to accelerate and scale our existing capabilities as we continue to explore new ways to manufacture performance products to help athletes reach their full potential,” he said. 3D printing won't be replacing factory footwear manufacturing just yet, it seems, but will definitely make a wide range of new products possible.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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mobo wrote at 5/25/2017 8:22:14 AM:

it the bag is for gents or ladies????

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